DPS employee terminated after criminal investigation

DPS employee terminated after criminal investigation

Released by The Texas Department of Public Safety:

AUSTIN, TX - After a five-month investigation by the Texas Rangers and the State Auditor's Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety initiated termination proceedings against Janice Bruno, the former administrator of the State Administrative Agency for state homeland security grant funds.

The investigation concerned alleged criminal misconduct regarding a sub-recipient contract between the SAA and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

On December 9, 2010, State Auditor John Keel notified the Department that he had received an allegation of criminal misconduct. The Department took the following actions regarding those allegations:

• Initiated a joint Texas Ranger and State Auditor criminal investigation of all potential subjects.

• Suspended Bruno pending the outcome of the investigation.

• Replaced the entire SAA leadership team.

• Suspended all contractors working at the SAA.

• Suspended related contractor invoice payments.

The results of the investigation will be referred for prosecution and the Department will not pay any invoices related to the suspended contract.

The investigation also identified internal control weaknesses within the SAA which have since been addressed.

"The Department of Public Safety will not tolerate violations of the law, and we will always seek the prosecution of employees who violate the public trust," said Steven C. McCraw, Director of DPS. "The State Auditor's office is to be commended for bringing this matter to our attention."